Tech

Google will lift its ban on political ads Thursday

Key Points
  • Roughly a month after the U.S. presidential election, Google is lifting its temporary pause on elections-related advertising.
  • The company had paused ads in an attempt to prevent potential exploitation or misinformation via ads since it expected delayed election results.
  • This means advertisers should now be able to run Google ads around the elections for both of Georgia's Senate seats, which will be decided in a runoff on Jan. 5.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, speaks during the company's 2017 Cloud Next event in San Francisco.
Bloomberg | Getty Images

Roughly a month after the U.S. presidential election, Google is lifting its temporary pause on elections-related advertising. The company had banned those ads for a period of time in an attempt to prevent potential exploitation or misinformation via advertising since it expected delayed election results.

"To protect users, we regularly pause ads for a discrete period over unpredictable, 'sensitive' events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information," the company said in an emailed statement. "While we no longer consider this post-election period to be a sensitive event, we will continue to rigorously enforce our ads policies, which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process."

This means advertisers should now be able to run Google ads around the elections for both of Georgia's Senate seats, which will be decided in a runoff on Jan. 5 and determine which party controls the Senate.

In a letter to advertisers, the company said it would lift the sensitive events policy around its election ads on Thursday. This includes ads mentioning current state or federal officeholders or candidates, political parties or ballot measures, federal state or elections or those running on election-related search queries. Axios previously reported that Google would lift its ban on political ads.

That's been a source of criticism for some Facebook advertisers, since that company told advertisers on Nov. 11 that its own pause was expected to last another month. Advertisers said this was preventing groups from raising money from supporters around the country and from educating voters.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether its pause was still expected to lift shortly. 

Also on Wednesday, Google-owned YouTube said it will begin removing content that falsely alleges widespread fraud or errors surrounding the 2020 presidential election. This came after the platform has been criticized following the election for allowing videos that falsely claim the election was a fraud and other related issues.

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